• Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Pensyfan19
 
Renfe is the first operator of this service.

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/in ... annel=news
Privately funded high-speed rail developer Texas Central has signed on Spain’s Renfe as “early operator” of its proposed 236-mile line linking Dallas and Houston. Securing funding is next, the company reported July 14.

The move follows Texas Central’s June announcement of a $16 billion final agreement with Italian firm Webuild Group and its U.S. subsidiary Lane Construction Corp. as design-build lead for the high speed rail (HSR) line.

Also significant: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last fall released the final Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA) and Record of Decision (ROD) that established federal safety standards for the project’s operation and gave environmental clearance for the selected alignment.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Railfans best not think about taking photos around this "Texas Central" proposal should it ever operate ("you think I'm gonna give up blasting my F-150 down the highway at whatever speed I wish for some train"?) and RENFE becomes the operator.

It is against the law with violators subject to arrest for taking photos of any railroad facility - even from public property!!! Apparently, some Franco-era holdover. Enforced to what extent, I know not, ask not, really care not.

While I've "been over" many times since, all I know about RENFE was from a 1990 trip where the Talgo Bilbao to Madrid was a "take it or leave it" experience, my Single Bedroom "Wagon Lit" on to Sevilla simply "wasn't" and I ended up in a Couchette. My Sevilla to Barcelona was two hours late (downed catenary, Basque separatists, who knows) missing connection with a through train to Paris and to be aboard when the gauge changes at Portbou. The Talgo "flops" over here starting with Pat on the New Haven, the Wisconsin fiasco, the "hindsight fiasco" in the Northwest, questionable safety record back in Spain, the CAF Amtrak fiasco...anybody want them involved with anything over here?

Even if a "nevah hoppen, ZI" (Vietnamese talk), I'd sooner Texas Central had cast their lot with the Chinese.
  by gprimr1
 
With all due respect, the laws of Spain are just that, the laws of Spain. They don't apply in the USA anymore than the laws of the USA apply in Spain.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Agreed. Mr. Primrose.

But should they become the operator of this "I'm skeptical" service, a photography prohibition could be part of their formulated policy.

What's ironic, and as I dare say you know first hand, is that anywhere else in Europe I've been, photography is "wide open". Doubt if that includes facilities like shops, but stations step right up.

I've even taken rail photos in (real, not former)
East Berlin.
  by electricron
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:43 am But should they become the operator of this "I'm skeptical" service, a photography prohibition could be part of their formulated policy.
It's hard to argue against ideas of ifs.
Renfe will be the operators of trains on tracks, stations, trains, and land owned by Texas Central.
The only rules that amount to a hill of beans are those imposed by Texas Central.
Renfe will just be the chauffer, hired to run the trains as economically as possible.
While Renfe may make great suggestions on what to place in the stations, how to run the trains, which trains to buy, and how much to charge for fares; those are decisions ultimately will be made by Texas Central, including the photography of trains.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Moderator note,

Shall we move along from the speculation. The ribbon cutting is anywhere from years to decades away.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Progress for the construction of stations.

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... any--64928
Texas high-speed rail investors intend to form an entity that will develop train stations in Dallas, Houston and Grimes County near College Station, where the permitted high-speed rail line terminals will be located.

To be known as the Texas High-Speed Rail Station Development Corp. (SDC), the entity will be independently owned by a consortium of Texas investors and separate from Texas Central.

Cadiz Riverfront Holdings and Cadiz Development Houston LLC will form SDC and be led by John Kleinheinz and Jack Matthews. The group owns approximately 52 acres in the Cedars neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas; approximately 45 acres in Houston formerly known as the Northwest Mall and approximately 59 acres in Grimes County near College Station.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Another Update from the Lone Star Central.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... tral-case/
AUSTIN, Texas — Acting on a second request, the Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal regarding Texas Central’s eminent domain authority to acquire property for its planned high speed rail line between Dallas and Houston, a case hinging on whether Texas Central meets the legal definition of a “railroad company” or “interurban electric railway.”

In announcing on Friday that it would hear the case, the court set oral arguments for Jan. 11, 2022. The court had previously declined to hear the case [see “Texas Supreme Court declines to hear Texas Central case,” Trains News Wire, June 21, 2021], but reversed itself in reviewing a petition for rehearing from landowner Jim Miles.

The case, Miles vs. Texas Central R.R. & Infrastructure, Inc., originally resulted in a trial court summary judgment for the property owner, but an appeals court overturned that decision, saying Texas Central was operating a railroad and therefore qualified as a railroad company under the applicable statute.
  by eolesen
 
This will be interesting to watch. The landowners claim is that eminent domain only applies to operating railroads. TCR doesn't have a single mile of track or rolling stock, so seizing land for a speculative railroad isn't allowed.

The initial trial court agreed. The Appellate court applied intent and overturned. SCOTX will have to rule on intent/interpretation vs. the law as written.

My guess... if the court's mix of originalist jurists (law as written supercedes intent) is what I think it is, TCR loses.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by electricron
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:39 am This will be interesting to watch. The landowners claim is that eminent domain only applies to operating railroads. TCR doesn't have a single mile of track or rolling stock, so seizing land for a speculative railroad isn't allowed.

The initial trial court agreed. The Appellate court applied intent and overturned. SCOTX will have to rule on intent/interpretation vs. the law as written.

My guess... if the court's mix of originalist jurists (law as written supercedes intent) is what I think it is, TCR loses.
Here's the law in question as it is written,
https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/transporta ... 2-002.html
"Texas Transportation Code - TRANSP § 112.002. General Rights of Railroads
(a) A railroad company has the right to succession.
(b) A railroad company may:
(1) sue, be sued, plead, and be impleaded in its corporate name;
(2) have and use a seal and alter the seal at will;
(3) receive and convey persons and property on its railway by any mechanical power, including the use of steam;
(4) regulate the time and manner in which, and the compensation for which, passengers and property are transported, subject to the provisions of law;
(5) exercise the power of eminent domain for the purposes prescribed by this subtitle or Subtitle D;
(6) purchase, hold, and use all property as necessary for the construction and use of its railway, stations, and other accommodations necessary to accomplish company objectives, and convey that property when no longer required for railway use;  and
(7) take, hold, and use property granted to the company to aid in the construction and use of its railway, and convey that property in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant when the property is no longer required for railway use."

No intent required, it is right there in plain text.

But that is not what the lawsuit is about, the key legal issue is whether Texas Central qualifies as a “railroad company” or an “interurban electric railway,” and whether an entity must show reasonable probability of project completion to invoke eminent domain authority.

https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/transporta ... 1-002.html
"Texas Transportation Code - TRANSP § 81.002. Applicability
In this title, a reference to a railroad company includes:
(1) a railroad incorporated before September 1, 2007, under former Title 112, Revised Statutes;  or
(2) any other legal entity operating a railroad, including an entity organized under the Texas Business Corporation Act or the Texas Corporation Law provisions of the Business Organizations Code."

https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/transporta ... 1-031.html
Texas Transportation Code - TRANSP § 131.031. Definition
In this subchapter, “interurban railway” means an electric or other interurban line of railway in this state.

It should be noted Texas Central was incorporated after September 1, 2007.
It should also be noted that Texas Central was first incorporated in 2009 under Texas law.
Note the present tense of the verb "operating". In almost all "common law" nations around the world, including Texas and the United States of America, present tense verbs also includes future tense.

Is that interpretation or a default clear reading of the text?

Miles argument is that Texas Central is not an operating railroad because they have not taken steps to lay track, buy trains, or run trains. Huh? DEIS, EIS, design, construction and operating contracts signed are not taking any steps to run a railroad? :(

The plain text reading of an interurban railroad states electric powered trains. What do you think 25KV, 60 Hz power is? Steam, coal, gasoline, diesel, wood, etc.? No, it is electricity, nothing else.

Another Miles argument is that the intent of the interurban laws were not for high speed trains as we know it today. But back in the day, electric powered interurbans were the fastest way to get from Denison all the way to Waco. FYI, that is a distance per Google of 172 miles, almost as far as the 240 miles between Dallas and Houston.

The people using interpretation liberties with the law are those landowners opposing selling their land, imho. Let's wait and see what the Texas Supreme Court rules next year. :-D
Last edited by electricron on Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by eolesen
 
Not just the landowner, Ron. The first trial court also came to the conclusion the landowner did.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by electricron
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:41 pm Not just the landowner, Ron. The first trial court also came to the conclusion the landowner did.
Yes, but the Court of Appeals nixed that conclusion.
Why? Because they correctly read as written what the Legislature wrote.

(1) As a grandfather clause to include all existing railroads
(2) As the new definition of what a railroad company is. Written in present tense verbs but understanding future tense verbs were included as well.

Why have (2) in the definition of a railroad company if all the Legislature wanted to include were existing railroad companies? (1) would have sufficed and they would have ended it there.

Plain reading of the text as written, no magical reading of Legislature intent needed.
  by ziggyzack1234
 
eolesen wrote:Not just the landowner, Ron. The first trial court also came to the conclusion the landowner did.
A few of those trial courts have put out some... particularly biased rulings regarding the railroad. For instance, the Grimes County case alleged that the railroad damaged a road during a survey and sought to keep them from further surveys. When it was appealed, it turns out that the county had failed to meet the burden of proof. The guy who manages the roads even signed off that their work to restore the condition of the road was satisfactory.

Back to Miles though. Texas Central has taken significant steps towards the construction of its line. Sure it's taking a while, but that's what it takes to do something in the US. EIS, Record of Decision, a Rule of Particular Applicability, build contract signed, operations contract signed, a large chunk of the land already acquired, a sizeable portion of the money secured (~12 billion per the CEO in a podcast last month), all absolutely crucial steps. Arguing that a railroad needs to physically exist to be called such completely ignored what it takes to build one. If things were his way Texas would never see a new railroad again.
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